Legendary rock and roll artist Chuck Berry has died at the age of 90.
Although Berry has not released any new albums in recent years, news came just a few months ago that he was planning one last release, an album simply titled Chuck to hit store shelves in 2017.
So what do we know about this new album, which will now be Berry’s last one ever? Here’s what you need to know.
1. It Was Announced on His 90th Birthday & Is His First Album in 38 Years
On October 18th, 2016, it was announced that Chuck Berry would be releasing an album, Chuck, in 2017.
This news came on Berry’s 90th birthday.
The announcement was surprising, as Berry has not released an album in decades. His last work was Rock It, released in 1979. Chuck is expected to consist primarily of completely new, original songs.
2. It’s Dedicated to His Wife
When Chuck Berry announced his album Chuck, he said that it would be dedicated to his wife.
“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said in a press release. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”
Chuck Berry had been married to Themetta Berry for 68 years. They spoke quite frequently about their love for one another.
“We have had a wonderful marriage,” Themetta was quoted as saying after their 38th wedding anniversary. “We love each other as much as we did the day we met.”
3. Two of His Kids Perform on the Album
The album Chuck was also announced to be including the work of two of Chuck Berry’s children.
Charles Berry Jr. will be playing the guitar, and Ingrid Berry will be playing the harmonica.
“What an honor to be part of this new music,” Charles Berry Jr. said in a press release. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us ‘The Blueberry Hill Band,’ fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”
In addition to Charles and Ingrid, Chuck Berry had two other children who will not perform on the album Chuck: Melody Exes Berry-Eskridge and Aloha Isa Lei Berry.
4. It Was Planned as His Last Album
Even if Chuck Berry had not died in March 2017, Chuck was still planned as his final album.
At least, Berry sure made it sound that way in his press release, in which he stated, “I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”
Before this announcement, Berry had frequently said that he would not record any more music, saying in a 2012 interview, “I can’t do that. My singing days have passed. My voice is gone, my throat is worn, and my lungs are going fast.”
5. It Was Recorded Last Year But Does Not Currently Have a Release Date
Chuck was announced for a 2017 release, but no specific date was specified. More details will likely be announced in the coming days.
However, recording of the album was already complete when it was announced.
According to an October press release, the album was “recorded in various studios around St. Louis.”
The album is being released by Dualtone Records.